Cream pies (vanilla cream)

Yield: 6 Servings

Measure Ingredient
½ cup Sugar; plus 2 tablespoons
¼ cup Cornstarch
⅛ teaspoon Salt
5 larges Egg yolks; lightly beaten
2 cups Whole milk
½ cup Evaporated milk
½ \N Vanilla bean; about 3\", split lengthwise
2 tablespoons Butter
1 teaspoon Brandy
1 \N Graham Cracker-Coated Pie Shell, baked & cooled
1 cup Heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons Confectioner's sugar
½ teaspoon Vanilla

Whisk sugar, cornstarch, and salt in medium saucepan. Add yolks, then immediately but gradually whisk in both milks. Drop in vanilla bean. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently at first, then constantly as mixture starts to thicken and begins to simmer, 8 - 10 mins. Once mixture simmers, continue to cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute longer. Remove pan from heat; whisk in butter and brandy. Remove vanilla bean, scrape out seeds and whisk them back into filling.

Pour filling into shallow pan (another pie pan works well). Put plastic wrap directly over filling surface to prevent skin from forming; cool until warm, about 30 mins. Pour warm filling into pie shell and, once again, place sheet of plastic wrap directly over filling surface. Refrigerate pie until completely chilled, at least 3 hours.

Whip cream to soft peaks. Add sugar and vanilla, continue to whip to barely stiff peaks. Spread over filling and refrigerate until ready to serve.

CHOCOLATE CREAM: Follow above recipe, adding 2 T. unsweetened cocoa to cornstarch mixture and stirring in 4 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate with butter. Substitute 1 t. vanilla extract for vanilla bean.

COCONUT CREAM: Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 300°. Scatter 1-¼ C. sweetened flake coconut in 9" square pan. Bake, stirring occasionally, until evenly golden brown, 20 - 25 mins. Cool to room temperature. Follow recipe above, stirring 1 C. of the coconut into filling once butter has melted. Continue with recipe, sprinkling remaining coconut over whipped cream topping.

BANANA CREAM: The safest and best place for the banana slices is sandwiched between two layers of filling. If sliced over the pie shell, the bananas moisten the crust; if sliced over the filling top or mashed and folded into the filling, then turn brown faster. Follow recipe above, spooning half the warm filling into baked shell. Peel 2 medium bananas and slice them over filling. Top with remaining filling. Continue with recipe.

ORIGINATOR Cook's Illustrated SUBMITTER Grace Wagner <wgmm@...> DATE 9/2/97

Recipe by: Cook's Illustated, 2/97, p. 24 Posted to MC-Recipe Digest V1 #769 by "Grace M. Wagner" <wgmm@...> on Sep 02, 1997

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